Impressive Eagle Farm winner Epaumada will not be making the journey to Ellerslie to contest the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) next weekend.
The speedy Epaulette filly made it back-to-back victories to kick-off her career when she coasted home over 1000m on Saturday, prompting speculation that she could make an 11th-hour dash to Auckland for the $1million Ellerslie feature.
Trainer Tony Gollan put paid to that speculation as he outlined the future plans for his charge.
“No, we’re not going to go,” Gollan said.
“We feel it is a bridge too far for her and I think she is a pretty talented filly.
“I know it is a big carrot. It’s a huge carrot, but to win big races the timing has to be right.
“The timing obviously isn’t right, otherwise we’d already be in New Zealand and have her settled in and ready to go.
“I had a little set back with her about two months ago, maybe longer now.
“She had a jump out at Eagle Farm and she pulled a muscle in her shoulder and it just put me back three weeks. That three weeks is what has cost me now.
“So, to win big races of any sort, let alone a two-year-old race at this time of the year, the timing has to be right.
“I knew getting back to New Zealand for the Karaka Million was going to be a tight situation as she wasn’t able to be broken in and educated as early as what some of the other two-year-olds were.
“She has made up huge ground in the last three months and she has really come on the scene. She is making up for lost time now.”
Gollan will take a patient approach with the filly who was a $165,000 purchase from the Monovale Farm draft at Karaka last year.
“She is a talented filly and I think she showed that yesterday and she has a lot of upside to her,” Gollan said.
“She is only a November foal. I am going to give her a short break and we will see her back here for the (Queensland) Winter Carnival.
“I think she will be a hell of a lot better filly for the break.
“I don’t think 1200m will be a problem. She relaxes beautifully.
“She showed a bit of versatility yesterday being able to sit second, particularly after not getting a clean getaway – she jumped a touch in the air – and he had to use her a touch early and she just came back and settled lovely and was strong to the line to my eye.
“I only gave her the one gallop on Tuesday since her debut win at Gatton and I saw great improvement. I think there is a lot more improvement still in her.“ – NZ Racing Desk